With a sweep of four heat wins and a victory in Saturday’s final of the 2014 Oryx Cup UIM World Championship in Doha, Qatar, a perfect weekend wasn’t enough for Graham Trucking driver J. Michael Kelly to catch Oh Boy! Oberto driver Jimmy Shane in the 2014 H1 Unlimited national high points championship.
Graham Trucking’s J. Michael Kelly drove a perfect weekend to win the 2014 Oryx Cup UIM World Championship. The final round of the H1 Unlimited series was organized by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation under the presidency of Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani.
Shane, who finished 421 points ahead of Kelly to defend his 2013 high points championship, won the last two races in Doha for Ted Porter’s Graham Trucking team. He made the jump this season to the Oberto boat after veteran driver Steve David retired from racing (David is now H1 Unlimited Chairman, read the story).
This year it was Kelly who gave Porter’s race team its fifth title in six races since the Unlimiteds first raced in Qatar in 2009. The driver from Bonney Lake, Wash., stole the inside line in pre-race milling and managed to edge clear of the newly-crowned points champion over five intense laps of the Doha course. Kelly maintained his composure throughout to reach the checkered flag and seal a second Oryx Cup win—he won the inaugural race in 2009.
“The move worked out,” said a delighted Kelly, who picked up his third straight victory after winning in Seattle and San Diego. “The Oberto had a little bit more speed than we had and that early move into the inside helped us come away with the win. I missed out on the national high points title to Jimmy but it’s a great feeling to win the race here in Doha.”
Jon Zimmerman rounded off the podium in the Team Red Dot hydroplane, while Cal Phipps drove the second Graham Trucking boat to fourth just ahead of Tom Thompson in the Peters & May boat.
For the second time in his H1 Unlimited career, J. Michael Kelly (top, center) won the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship in Doha, Qatar.
“Our main goals coming in here was to keep the equipment together and win the national high point championship,” said Shane, who was accepting of the second-place finish. “If we would have won the world championship it would have been icing on the cake, but we are bringing the boat home in one piece and we have the national high points championship.”
F1 H2O and H1 Unlimited Qualifying Updates from the Middle East
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Kelly Takes H1 Unlimited Win at San Diego Bayfair
David Takes Over As H1 Unlimited Interim Chairman
Graham Trucking’s Kelly Earns Seattle Seafair Victory